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or speir, spier

[speer] /spɪər/
verb (used with or without object)
Chiefly Scot. to ask; inquire.
Origin of speer
before 900; Middle English speren, spiren, Old English spyrian to make tracks, trace, ask about; cognate with German spüren, Old Norse spyrja to ask; akin to spoor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for speir
Historical Examples
  • I maun be goin' hame, but I'll try and get back the morn, to speir how ye're keepin'.

    Morag Janet Milne Rae
  • On the occasion when Jack appeared he found Mrs. speir seated in her library.

    A Successful Shadow Harlan Page Halsey
  • How did you find all at Gawin's to-day, now when I have gotten time to speir?

  • "Jist answer me ae queston, Isy, and I'll speir nae mair," said Marion.

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • Dry up zour tears, my winsome dame, Ze neir can heal the wound; Ze see his head upon the speir, His heart's blude on the ground.

  • Here's An'ra, sir, come to speir efter the yoong minister and Isy: am I to gar him come in?

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • What was your name, madam, before your marriage to Mr. speir?

    A Successful Shadow Harlan Page Halsey
  • Didn't I speir her giving him his quittance once for all that night when he rode away after they had pitten ye to bed?

    The Master of Appleby Francis Lynde
  • He was in a lang time, but I never kent what he did, for the bairn juist aye greets when I speir at her.

    A Window in Thrums J. M. Barrie
  • Gey an' often: Bell's an auld friend o' my mither's, and I run over to speir for her aye when I've time.

British Dictionary definitions for speir


(Scot) to ask; inquire
Word Origin
Old English spyrian to seek after, search for
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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